Monday, May 23, 2016

{My Parties} Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Party

Do you have a Harry Potter fan in your family? I bet you do. 
I know a ton of ADULTS that are Harry Potter mega fans! 
I really feel like the very first of those movies was the best one. It was just so magical, while still being sweet and fun. My inspiration for this party was that magical scene where Harry rides the Hogwarts Express to Hogwarts for the first time. 
It's probably my favorite part of any of the movies!
 I love learning all about Hogwarts right along with Harry, and I LOVE hearing about all the enchanted treats!
#harrypotter #hogwarts #hogwartsexpress #hogwartsparty #harrypotterparty #greygreydesigns

So, I set out to recreate the feeling of the Hogwarts Express. 
In my cute little town, we have an old steam engine on display in our town square and I knew that was the perfect place for this party!

I set up my party table right in front of the steam engine. I used a simple black tablecloth and really made it pop by using a gold metallic cardstock letter garland, which I cut into one of the famous spell names from Harry Potter: Expecto Patronum!

For my "backdrop" I added the flags from each of the houses of Hogwarts. I made these flags using felt and hot glue and I hung them from a simple dowel using zip ties. 

There are so many fun treats to pick from when you are doing a Harry Potter Party!
The first on the list is always the Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans! 
I displayed them in these test tubes and a small cardboard suitcase that I painted gold! Sometimes just serving the item in a cute way can make it extra appealing to kids!

I got some really good deals on Halloween clearance for this party! That's actually one of my favorite tips for at-home party planners! Always shop the holiday aisle!

And you can't forget the chocolate frogs! I displayed mine in a simple wooden tray and added some Harry Potter glasses and a Gryffindor tie!

To make our "snitches" I used Ferrero Rocher candies with simple craft feathers. I displayed them on these "stone" columns. 

For our cupcakes, I did a simple spiced cake with a broom cake topper. I got these cute little brooms on Halloween clearance too! They were the perfect topper!

How cute is this "Hedwig?"

I knew I also wanted to do some sugar cookies for this event too, so I called up my cookie guru, Amanda at SemiSweet Confections and she absolutely blew me away with these gorgeous cookies!
They looked like the crests of each house of Hogwarts!
How gorgeous are they???

My little Harry loved then!

The Gryffindor was my favorite!


I hope this party has you solemnly swearing that you'll be up to no good!


All Styling and Photography: GreyGrey Designs

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Story of Good with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

This post is sponsored by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. 

This post is a little different than the parties that I usually post on my blog. But today I wanted to share something special with you. 
If you have followed me for any length of time, you might know that my oldest son, Greyson, has an incurable disease called Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. 
Greyson is 8 and he has been through more in his short life than many people go through in an entire lifetime. My child is a hero. He is a hero to me and to the thousands of other people who have come into contact with him over the past few years. 
He inspires me every day to be a better person, to do good, to reach higher, and to cherish every second. He is the inspiration for the name of my business as well, because he is the reason I feel so passionately about celebrating milestones in our lives. 

Because of Greyson's diagnosis of TSC, he has brain tumors, epilepsy, polycystic kidney disease, hypertension. retinal tubers, developmental delay, and multiple skin manifestations.  
Since he requires physicians of multiple specialties, our lifeline is our local children's hospital, Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. Le Bonheur is a proud member of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. 

Because of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and Le Bonheur, Greyson has gone from seizing multiple times a day to three years of seizure freedom. He is growing now and we are having to adjust some medicines to control his seizures, but he is thriving because of our local children's hospital. They have saved his life twice. Because of that, and the ongoing care that they give him, we are able to lead a "normal" life as a family. 
My husband and I are passionate about volunteering in a variety of capacities at Le Bonheur. We are on the Family Partners Council, we mentor newly diagnosed families, and we do fundraising throughout the year. 

Children's hospitals all over the United States need your donations to keep providing the life-saving services and support to families who are in dire need of help. And you can support them by supporting Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. 
The best part about the donations made to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals is the fact that all the donations stay local and are used by the hospital wherever they need them. 
So, when you see those donation balloons in your local stores, you can feel good about your donation benefiting your local children's hospital. Just this week, my younger son and I were shopping and we saw the balloons and we donated! Every dollar counts! 
It is so important for me to teach my children about charitable donations and helping other kids. 
My youngest actually gets very excited to put a donation into a collection box because he knows that it will help other kids live strong, healthy lives. 

Because of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, $3.5 billion a year is provided to hospitals across the United States. Every dollar of those donations is so desperately needed and so very appreciated. You see, a children's hospital is not just a hospital for smaller adults. Children have an entirely different set of needs when it comes to hospital care. And I am proud to be involved with a hospital that goes above and beyond for its patients, like bringing in therapy dogs to play with your kids while they are hospitalized or having superhero window washers scale the side of the building. Anything they can do to put a smile on your child's face during their stay is so important. 
And they can't do it without your support, and the support of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. 

If you cannot donate today, then consider ordering one of these FREE Miracle Bands! Post a picture of yourself on your social media with the hashtag #miracleband and join the "tearing, wearing, sharing" movement. 
Raising awareness is just as important as raising money! So I am encouraging you to donate and help raise awareness today. You never know when you might need them. 
Put your money where the miracles are.  Support your Children's Miracle Network Hospital.